Thursday, December 27, 2007

Another study criticising voting machines

Over the last decade or so, the American political machine has become rotten to the core with vote fixing, secret counting, lost votes and other "irregularities". (Those with long memories of infamous political bosses like William Tweed will see this corruption as a return to normality after a half century of relative honesty and transparency.)

As Bruce Schneier reports, more and more US states are realising just how bad the electronic voting machines are. Like California before them, Ohio has just published a massive study on voting machines and found that they are insecure, untrustworthy, vulnerable to malicious software and operator fraud, and easy to undetectably hack using simple tools.

Colorado has decertified most of it's electronic voting machines. California seems to be ready to do the same, and surely Ohio can't be far behind. In 2006, New Mexico changed to a paper ballot system. Unfortunately for every politician who understands about the risks, there's another who is either ignorant, in denial, or actively pushing for insecure voting systems ("all the better to make sure the right person wins, my dear").

In related news, it seems that Diebold -- not the worst of the bad bunch at all, merely the first to be caught -- is re-thinking their voting machine business.

And in other news, former staff at Sequoia Voting Systems printing plant have gone public with claims that in 2000 they were ordered to send inferior quality punched cards to West Palm Beach (Florida), purposely misprinted, so that the cards would fail and Sequoia could push it's more profitable touch-screen voting machines to the states.

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